HCMC prisons overloaded

Prisons and detention houses in Ho Chi Minh City have been downgraded and failed to meet minimum area per individual, the HCMC People's Procuracy reported on Nov.16 to the Legal Department of the law-making HCMC People's Council. Offenders of the prison in Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Tuoi Tre Offenders in the prisons of both levels of district and city have not had enough minimum area of two square meters each, according to the agency in charge of public prosecution. So, policies and regulations and other conditions for offenders have not been well observed. Recently, police of districts 2, 5, and Nha Be have had to send prisoners and offenders on remand to Chi Hoa Prison for the shortage of detention areas in the localities. The HCMC People's Procuracy proposed the People's Council and the People's Committee of HCMC and the Ministry of Public Security to spend investment for upgrading and building new prisons. According to the report … [Read more...]

Inside massage parlors: Prisons in hell

At large massage parlors in Ho Chi Minh City, masseuses, or "massage girls" as they are commonly known to the clientele, often work 12 hours a day and rent houses by themselves. In the neighboring provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong, these young women are required to stay on the premise, day and night, "fed and caged" in cramped rooms. Around 40 masseuses share a 30 square meter room in the massage parlor TP in Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Tuoi Tre Part 1: First day on the 'job' Part 2: Prisons in hell Part 3: Hunting for masseuses Part 4: Blood tips Final part: More than just money Inside the four tall walls with barbed wires on top, food and daily necessities and other services are provided by the owners at exorbitant prices. On our first working day at the parlor TN in Binh Duong, a male manager named Hung took us along a long and narrow … [Read more...]

Nigerian man gets 15 years for defrauding 15 Vietnamese women of $51,700

A Vietnam court on Tuesday sentenced a Nigerian man to 15 years in prison for conning 15 Vietnamese women out of about US$51,700. Okoye Uchenna, 37, who temporarily resided in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, was given the sentence on charges of appropriating property through swindling, the HCMC People's Court said The court also imposed a 10-year imprisonment sentence on the man's accomplice, Vo Thi Xuan Hong, a 51-year-old Vietnamese woman of southern Dong Nai Province, for the same offense. According to the indictment issued by the HCMC People's Procuracy, Okoye Uchenna and Hong had colluded to carry out swindles targeting Vietnamese women the Nigerian man befriended through the Internet. The foreigner called himself by different names and used false nationalities in online chatting and getting acquainted with these women. Uchenna later told his "girlfriends" that he had sent valuable gifts, including laptops, cosmetics and cash, to them via transport companies outside … [Read more...]

Vietnam hub to tighten airport drug detection

A Ho Chi Minh City leader has asked relevant forces to step up anti-drug screenings at Tan Son Nhat airport and crack down on hotspots due to an explosion in drug-related arrests and seizures. Le Thanh Hai, chief of the city's Party Unit, made the remark Saturday at a five-year review of the Politburo's decree on enhanced drug prevention and control. Phan Anh Minh, vice director of the HCMC police department, said the city arrested around 16,000 people for drug crimes in the past five years, up 20 percent from the previous five years. The police seized 123 kilograms of heroin, a 2.5 fold increase, and 142 kilograms of synthetic drugs, a 22-fold increase, Minh said. He said Tan Son Nhat International Airport has become a gateway for smuggling drugs into Vietnam and a transit point for carrying drugs on to third countries. Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang told the meeting that drug crimes in the Southeast Asian region are getting more … [Read more...]

Capital punishment suggested against corrupt exec

Da Ban The prosecutor representing the HCMC People's Procuracy at the fifth day of the first-instance hearing proposed harsh sentences against Hao for different counts, including capital punishment for embezzlement of State assets, 20-year imprisonment for intentional violations of the law causing grave consequences, and 15 years behind the bars for abuse of power when performing public duties. According to the verdict, Hao and his accomplices between April 2008 and March 2009 signed ten finance leasing contracts to give loans of over VND795 billion to four companies, although ALC II as a subsidiary under the State-run Agribank is not permitted to make loans. Hao and other culprits in signing such agreements embezzled some VND140 billion, but their violations caused losses of over VND530 billion to the State. In this court case, the prosecutor also proposed the death penalty against Dang Van Hai, former chair of the board of representatives of Quang Vinh Construction Co. Ltd., for … [Read more...]

HCMC police recommend bribery charge against sting journalist

A file photo of Hoang Khuong (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

The Ho Chi Minh City police Wednesday (May 23) wrapped up investigations and recommended a charge of bribery against a Tuoi Tre newspaper journalist for what is claimed to be a sting operation to expose traffic police corruption. They alleged that Nguyen Van Khuong, 39, well known by his pseudonym Hoang Khuong, bribed Huynh Minh Duc, 36, a Binh Thanh District traffic police officer who is under suspension, to get back a motorbike seized for illegal street racing. They also recommended that the HCMC People's Procuracy should prosecute Duc for "taking bribes." Duc was arrested last November for allegedly taking bribes to let off a traffic offender after Khuong exposed the bribery in stories published on Tuoi Tre in July. According to the police, in April last year Binh Thanh District traffic police officers impounded the motorcycle of Tran Minh Hoa for "reckless driving" and "causing public disorder." In June Hoa asked his friend Nguyen Duc Dong Anh, Khuong's brother-in-law and … [Read more...]

3 Filipinos charged with fraud for scamming tourist in Vietnam

Prosecutors in Ho Chi Minh City have ratified fraud charges against three Filipinos for cheating a Japanese tourist out of some US$2,000 and an iPhone4 last year. The three Filipinos who were charged with fraud for cheating a Japanese tourist in Ho Chi Minh City last year Oliver Ingao Due, Cavite Nestor Carmesis, both 45, and Tagapan Bartolome Jr Berbasa, 47, have been formally charged with "committing fraud to appropriate others' property," said the HCMC People's Procuracy. According to the indictment, last October 26, Berbasa and Carmesis approached Japanese tourist Takaesu Naoki, and invited him to their rented house in Phu Nhuan District. They lured Naoki into playing a card game with a Singaporean woman, whose identity has yet to be identified. After letting Naoki win $800, they raised the stakes, daring him to bet $5,000 on the last game. With Due promising to lend him the $2,000 he was short, Naoki agreed to the new stakes and withdrew $44 million ($2,000) from an ATM. … [Read more...]

Sting journalist charged with bribery

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Ho Chi Minh City prosecutors have officially charged a Tuoi Tre newspaper journalist with bribery for what he claimed was a sting operation to expose traffic police corruption. A file photo shows Hoang Khuong (L) being driven to a police station after he was arrested last January for allegedly bribing a traffic police officer According to the HCMC People's Procuracy, Nguyen Van Khuong, 39, well known by his pseudonym Hoang Khuong, bribed Huynh Minh Duc, 36, a former Binh Thanh District traffic police officer, to get back a motorbike seized for illegal street racing. Duc has also been charged with "taking bribes." According to the indictment, Duc received VND3 million from Tran Anh Tuan, the owner of a trailer truck involved in a road accident, in exchange for the release of the truck. He also received VND15 million from Khuong to release a confiscated motorbike belonging to Tran Minh Hoa, a friend of Khuong's brother-in-law Nguyen Duc Dong Anh. HCMC prosecutors charged Tuan, Hoa … [Read more...]

Man imprisoned for smuggling rhino horns into Vietnam

A Ho Chi Minh City appeals court Friday handed down a three-year jail term to a Hanoian for smuggling rhinoceros horns from South Africa into Vietnam in 2008. Tran Van Lap (R) at the trial in Ho Chi Minh City on July 30. According to the indictment, Tran Van Lap, 50, was found transporting five horns weighing 17,66 kilograms, without a license, at Tan Son Nhat Airport on January 3, 2008. He told police he had gone to South Africa, on someone's advice, to hunt rhinos in May, 2007. While there, he hunted down two white rhinos worth a total of US$20,000. When questioned, the man said he took two pairs of horns which were licensed for export by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Limpopo - the northernmost province of South Africa on October 10 the same year. Lap bought another horn for $2,000 and brought this, along with the other four, into the country without declaring them at Vietnamese customs. A HCMC People's … [Read more...]

Journalist Hoang Khuong to be tried on August 30

Tuoi Tre journalist Hoang Khuong, a prize-winning reporter famous for exposé articles into corruption, is going to be tried for allegedly bribing a traffic police officer in Ho Chi Minh City. Journalist Hoang Khuong Photo: Tuoi Tre >> Journalist indicted in bribery case he uncovered>> Tuoi Tre opposes police's conclusion on Khuong>> Corrupt cop exposed by detained journalist Hoang Khuong set free on bail>> Lawyer opposes detention of Tuoi Tre journalist>> Police continue to detain "bribing" journalist>> "Bribing journalist" case should be suspended: lawyer According to a notice from the HCMC People's Court, the hearing will last for two days starting August 30 and will be chaired by Judge Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy. Besides the 37-year-old journalist, whose real name is Nguyen Van Khuong, five other defendants will be tried, including Huynh Minh Duc, a former officer of a traffic police team in the Binh Thanh District Police, who is charged with … [Read more...]

Doctor charged with traffic violation after killing two, injuring seven 

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A doctor who killed two women and injured seven others when he crashed his car into a group of vehicles waiting at a red light last year will be charged with violating driving regulations, the Ho Chi Minh City prosecuting agency has confirmed.If convicted, Tran Anh Huy, 43, faces between seven and 15 years in prison. According to the HCMC People's Procuracy, due to poor driving and inability to control speed, Huy, who was then a doctor at Children's Hospital 1, crashed his sedan into two other cars moving in the same director on October 7 that year. RELATED CONTENT Charges pressed against HCMC doctor for fatal accident He then ran into 13 motorbikes that had stopped at a red light. One female motorist died on the spot, while another succumbed to serious injuries at a hospital later. Seven others were hospitalized with injuries. Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment … [Read more...]

Tuoi Tre opposes police’s conclusion on Khuong

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have officially wrapped up investigation into Hoang Khuong's case and proposed he be tried on charges of "giving bribes". Tuoi Tre's editorial board has objected to this proposal. Journalist Hoang Khuong Photo: Tuoi Tre >> Corrupt cop exposed by detained journalist Hoang Khuong set free on bail>> Police continue to detain "bribing" journalist>> "Bribing journalist" case should be suspended: lawyer>> Journalist-related bribery case to be handled justly: police>> Anti-corruption journalist Hoang Khuong arrested>> Cops blatantly take bribes, threaten drivers>> Traffic cop takes bribe to return bike According to the board, Hoang Khuong should have been praised for uncovering the corruption case.Khuong's guilty of "giving bribes"?37-year-old Nguyen Van Khuong (penname Hoang Khuong) is a prize-winning journalist famous for exposé articles delving into police corruption. He has been detained since February 2 for … [Read more...]

Mysterious hypnosis robbery case just a play act: police

The mysterious robbery case at the Tin Huy gold shop in Binh Son District in QuangNgaiProvince was just a play act by the owner and her relative, concluded the local police after a four-day investigation. After analyzing fingerprints and the identities of the suspects, the police have arrested 22-year-old Ngo Quang Truong, a cousin of Nguyen Thi Thuy, the jewelry shop owner. Truong, who also lives in Binh Son District, confessed to the police that he was the one who had acted as the masked robber having hypnotizing abilities. According to Colonel Tran Van Sang, head of the local police department, the play could have been set up by Nguyen Thi Thuy to cheat her creditors so she could avoid paying back her debts. The police department in QuangNgaiProvince is continuing investigation to ascertain all allegations. Nguyen Thi Thuy on Friday claimed that a masked robber hypnotized her and took away gold and cash worth more than US$200,000, but many local experts are of the view that it … [Read more...]

SOCIETY IN BRIEF 25/10

Smuggled tusks seized on Chinese border Northeastern border Quang Ninh Province's Customs has seized more than one tonne of elephant tusks being transported to China from Mong Cai City. A Chinese man named Lai Hua Cai was arrested and charged with possession of the ivory on a ferry boat in Ka Long Ward. Police claim the tusks were cut into 221 pieces and hidden in bags. Cai said he had been hired by another Chinese man to deliver the tusks. Cai and the tusks are being held at Mong Cai police station for further investigation. Hypnosis robbery case just a play: police Photo: Tuoi Tre The mysterious robbery at Tin Huy gold shop in central Quang Ngai Province's Binh Son District is no more than a play set up by the owner and her relative, said local police department after the four-day investigation. After analyzing the scene, fingerprints, and personal identities of the suspects, the police have arrested the 22-year-old Ngo Quang Truong who is a cousin of Nguyen Thi … [Read more...]

Police smash gang making fake car documents

The investigation police in Ho Chi Minh City have proposed to the HCMC People's Procuracy to prosecute four people who are part of a gang suspected of providing false documents for sale of expensive cars. The four accused are 40-year-old Lai Chi Linh from Go Vap District, 56-year-old Tran Cong Xu from Thu Duc District, 40-year-old Nguyen Xuan Sen from Tan Phu District ( all in HCMC ) and 41-year-old Phan Anh Huy from Binh Duong Province nearby. As per investigations so far, Linh sold a car to T.V.H without any legal documents. He asked Xu to make false documents for the car, including car insurance, fake ownership and even a registration certificate. At the police station, Xu admitted that he had asked Sen to make the false documents for the car. On February 14, 2011, following a tip-off from the public, police seized the car under suspicion of smuggling. Police arrested Sen and Huy on February 19 while they were selling fake documents at a coffee shop in Tan Binh District. Huy … [Read more...]

Experts disclaim hypnotism in robbery case

Many local experts have affirmed that it is impossible for someone to use hypnosis for robbery purposes after a jewelry shop owner claimed that a masked robber hypnotized her and took away gold and cash worth more than US$200,000. After the robbery case in jewelry shop Tin Huy, many gold shops in Quang Ngai province have tightened security by replacing their old security cameras with new and more modern ones. Photo: Tuoi Tre According to Colonel Mai Van Tan, chief of Ho Chi Minh City's Investigation Police Department, there have been no reports of cases about the use of hypnosis in the city. "We used to handle some cases in which victims claimed that they became unconscious and gave all their money and jewelries to robbers after hearing a few words. But investigations later found that it was not true," Tan said. For example, a victim … [Read more...]

Former HCMC Highway Project leader gets 6 years jail

Huynh Ngoc Si, former director of the East-West Highway Project Management Unit in Ho Chi Minh City and former deputy director of HCMC Transport Department, was sentenced to six years in prison today after a court rejected his appeal. Huynh Ngoc Si (R) and Le Qua at the appellate hearing on March 17. Mr. Si was sentenced to six years in prison and Mr. Qua to five years for "abusing power while on duty." (Photo: SGGP) The Appellate Court of the Supreme People's Court in HCMC March 17 rejected the appeals for suspended sentences of Mr. Si, 57, and his former deputy Le Qua, 71, who were charged several years ago with "abusing power while on duty." Mr. Qua received a sentence of five years prison. Last year, in the first instance hearing, Mr. Si and Mr. Qua were given three and two years in jail respectively for the same charge. However, the head of the HCMC People's Procuracy proposed the sentences be increased for the two defendants.The jury said that the first instance sentences did … [Read more...]

Appeal court on Japanese graft case delayed

An appeal of two former officials found guilty of corruption while at the helm of a Japanese-aided infrastructure project was delayed Monday due to the poor health of one of the defendants. According to local newswire Vietnamnet, the appeal was postponed until after Tet (the Lunar New Year) as proposed by 57-year-old Huynh Ngoc Si, former head of the East-West Highway project in Ho Chi Minh City. The appeal at the HCMC People's Supreme Court was sought by prosecutors at the HCMC People's Procuracy who argued that Si and his deputy, Le Qua, should receive stiffer prison sentences. They were found guilty of abuse of power and sentenced jail terms of three years and two years respectively last October. They had rented an office to Tokyo-based Pacific Consultants International (PCI) from August 2001 to November 2002 without reporting the lease in order to pocket US$67,300 in rents. While the HCMC People's Court said its decision was lenient because the two had made great contributions to … [Read more...]

HCMC prosecutor accused of threatening locals with tear gas gun

A member of the HCMC People's Procuracy (HPP), the municipal prosecution office, has been accused of using a tear gas gun to threaten some people Wednesday in public in Phu Nhuan District. Police Thursday said an investigation has been launched after Ngo Pham Viet allegedly used a gun to fire tear gas and menace some individuals on Hoang Van Thu Street. Viet was apprehended at the scene by police of Phu Nhuan District's Ward 9 and the city's emergency police force. However, authorities released him later after recording his statement. At the police station, Viet confessed he had threatened some individuals whom he thought had snatched his wallet and that the gun used was distributed by his office. According to Viet, he was on the way home from a bout of boozing when a woman pretending to be a prostitute stopped him and stole his wallet. An official from Phu Nhuan District police confirmed that Viet had his wallet stolen. However, he said that police were investigating … [Read more...]

HCMC plans to set up security firms for banks

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have asked the local branch of the central bank to set up a security company to protect both customers and the bank from potential robbers. HCMC People's Committee Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong said that other banks could follow suit if the plan is implemented effectively. At present, only the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) has its own security company in the city. According to figures from the HCMC People's Procuracy, clients at local banks have suffered 16 cases of theft recently. Reported by Duc Trung - Nhu Y … [Read more...]